Planning for future success is possibly the most exciting challenge we face in our sales careers, but it is not always easy. When contemplating a move, we can all benefit from wise and impartial advice from someone more senior than ourselves in the sales profession. Too often, however, there is no-one we can rely on for confidential support within our immediate circle.
This is where the Association of Professional Sales comes in. The APS’s live events provide unparalleled opportunities for networking, to obtain the wise counsel we all need. Stimulating, expert speakers will flag up new ideas and new business avenues, helping you to ace the next job interview. And the APS’s continuous professional development will equip you to impress even the most exacting of new employers and customers.
We spoke to James Ker-Reid, a 28-year-old account director at a leading IT services consultancy, who explains what benefits he feels he gets from being an associate member of the APS.
“The real thing for me at the APS is networking and building relationships. As a young sales person, it’s vital to have a couple of mentors so you can reach out with any burning question. I keep in touch with Andy [Hough, APS chief executive] every 4-6 months, and I value his opinion because he is a very experienced sales leader.
“I have been in sales all my working life and it’s important to me that I see myself as a professional sales person. For most of that time I have sold services, but even before that I sold in retail and did odd jobs in sales while at Nottingham uni.
“The bedrock of what I know today comes from my time at Michael Page, where I set up a new desk in financial services to create what is now a global, high-flying business. I joined the charity sector for a while, to see if it was for me, but found I missed the challenges of the commercial side of business.
“Since a friend introduced me to the APS I’ve been to some interesting seminars, and found value in them.
“I know I can’t rely on a job for life, or trust a corporate employer to develop my career for me. Being part of the APS helps me to work out how to progress my own career and reach my goals.
“The APS as a body offers a lot of value for young sales professionals because it can help us review and analyse all the opportunities for development out there, rather than being wedded to one training provider.
“I’m attracted to the APS because it is an organisation that wants to make us the best we can be. I’d certainly bring it up at a future job interview as something that shows I am committed to excellence and committed to the profession.”
The Association of Professional Sales is the leading community for sales people. We are a not-for-profit organisation, reinvesting in our profession to build standards, trust and education.